How to Party with 3D BIM Modeling

5/24/2011 2:38:22 PM
By PSN Staff

by Joey D'Angelo

Recently, my firm Charles M. Salter Associates decided to do a rather cool, yet kinda nerdy thing. I was skeptical at first, but it proved to be a rather successful event. How could something called a “3D BIM Party,” be cool? Read further and I’m sure you will agree.

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Photo courtesy of Ethan Salter.

In 2008 and 2009 our firm was growing and we needed more space for more consultants! It just so happens that half of the floor above our existing offices was available so we pounced on it and decided to move the “Technology Group” of our firm to new, ultra-modern, green offices. Now, I say “Technology” because it seems to be the buzzword these days for consultants that do Audiovisual, Telecom, and Security consulting. (I could blog an entire blog about that in and of itself, but not today!) So we put in nice private offices, a videoconference room, a theater, fabulous open plan offices, sound masking, a decent IT infrastructure, made it green and when it was done, we had a party, which was early 2010.

What was really cool about this was that we had a big bad projector from Digital Projection in our “theater” area and a Meyer Sound Constellation system. We were stoked. We can look at 10,000 lumens of HD perfection on our projection screen, and electronically and perfectly I might add, change the acoustics of our “theater area.” It’s great for demoing all sorts of things to architects that we work with.

With the advent of BIM (Building Information Modeling) and the adoption of REVIT, things are changing in the design world and ALL of our consultants took a class on REVIT. After the class, it just so happens that our big head honcho VP Ken Graven got a call from Paul Gomes of Digital Projection. Paul wanted to know what other industries we thought DP could get into that needed 3D projection technology. Ken suggested that with the advent of REVIT, that DP had an entire new marketplace. Therein, came the idea for the 3D BIM Party! “Let’s throw 3D renderings of our projects up on our big projection screen and use the Meyer Sound Constellation system to change the acoustics actively while we tour virtual spaces. Paul Gomes put our firm in touch with a company called EON Reality, that can easily take any REVIT model and convert it to a 3D model complete with lighting, collisions, heights, and altitudes. In fact, they took our entire new office space and converted it from a REVIT file to a full blown 3D model with ease.

Invitations went out to architects or clients, hors d'oeuvres were ordered, and beverages were procured. Digital Projection and EON Reality showed up for the occasion and to lend a helping hand, and the evening proved to be a major success. As guests arrived they were given a pair of active stereoscopic 3D glasses, snacks, and a seat. They were then entertained by Ken Graven of Charles Salter Associates, who gave a brief introduction. Then, Paul Gomes of Digital Projection gave a brief presentation on the different types of 3D technology available today. Lastly, Mats Johansson demonstrated several different 3D models. The highlight of the event was when he switched from the Charles Salter Associates 6th Floor Office Model to a giant cathedral, which coincided with a GRAND acoustical change using the Meyer Sound Constellation system. The audience was quite impressed and having way too much fun contributing their voices and claps to the virtually reverberant and immersive environment.

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